Involvement Opportunity!

University of Birmingham logoThe contribution of the voluntary sector to mental health crisis care in England

(Click here for the project overview)

Participant Information:

January 19th 2018

We invite you to take part in a research study. Below is some information about why this research is being done and what it would involve for you. Please take time to read this and talk to others if you wish. Ask us if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. Take time to decide whether or not you wish to take part.


This research is being funded by the National Institute for Health Research. Research and national reports have shown that access to the right kind of support at the right time for people in a mental health crisis can be a problem. Some people, also, avoid seeking help because of fears related to hospital admission or poor treatment, which can result in involuntary detention under the Mental Health Act. As a result, the voluntary sector, also referred to as the third sector, provides support for people in a mental health crisis. How widely available these different types of crisis support are, what they provide and how they fit with the crisis services offered by the NHS or Local Authority is not well understood.

What is the purpose of the study?

The main aim of this study is to investigate the range of crisis support offered by voluntary sector organisations in England play in supporting people in a mental health crisis. Based on our findings, we aim to make recommendations about what needs to happen for NHS and Local Authority crisis services to work with voluntary sector services better. This information will be of value to people experiencing a mental health crisis, their families, the voluntary sector, commissioners, mental health service providers and policy makers.

Why have I been invited?

We understand that you have experience that is relevant to providing services to people in a mental health crisis because of your job role and could, therefore help us understand the role that the voluntary sector could play in mental health crisis care. We would like to invite you to take part in an interview.

Do I have to take part?

Your agreement to take part in the study is entirely voluntary, and you can choose to withdraw from the study, without giving a reason.

What will happen to me if I take part?

If you agree to take part then you will be interviewed about your experience of mental health crisis care by one of the researchers. The interview will last approximately an hour. This information you give will allow us to identify the how voluntary sector organisations are providing support, how this interfaces with the services provided by the NHS and/or Local Authority, and to identify the factors that determine the quality of collaboration between the voluntary sector and statutory services. If you agree, the interview will be tape recorded to allow us to analyse the information in more detail later. This tape recorded discussion will be transcribed, by a professional transcription service, into written text for data analysis and the tape then will be erased.

What are the possible disadvantages, risks and side-effects of taking part?

No disadvantages, risks or side-effects related to taking part in the study have been identified.

Are there any benefits to taking part?

The information we receive through this study will be used to help improve the support from people experiencing a mental health crisis and will provide information to the NHS and local authorities on how they can most effectively work with the voluntary sector to people experiencing a mental health crisis.

Will my taking part in the study be kept confidential?

We can reassure you that everything you tell us will be completely confidential. No information that can identify you will be passed on to anyone outside the research team or be contained in the final report or any other publication. Only members of the research team will hear the tape or read the transcript of the tape, and the tapes will be erased once the data has been analysed. The collected data will be securely stored for ten years by the University of Birmingham on a University of Birmingham computer. Any information we put on to the computer will be protected with a password known only to members of the research team.

Data may be looked at by sponsor representatives, regulatory authorities or NHS Trust

for audit purposes.

What will happen to the results of the research study?

A summary of the findings will be produced and sent to all the research participants in addition to these being written up as a report to the National Institute for Health Research (who have funded the research). The results of the study will also be presented at conferences and other meetings and published in journals. However, we will not use your name in any publications and nothing that can identify you will be published or talked about.

Who has given permission for the study to go ahead?

The West of Scotland Research Ethics Committee 4, the Health Research Authority and the Ethics Committee at the University of Birmingham have given ethical approval for this study to go ahead.

Who is the research team?

The research team is led by Dr Karen Newbigging from the Health Services Management Centre and is being undertaken in partnership with the Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC) at the University, Suresearch (Service Users in Research and Education), and the Open University Business School. The team includes mental health service users as co-researchers.

What if I have a complaint about the study?

If you have any concerns about your involvement in this research, in the first instance, raise them with the researcher or Dr Karen Newbigging, the principal researcher. If you wish to make a complaint you can do so by contacting Dr Iestyn Williams at Health Services Management Centre, School of Social Policy, The University of Birmingham, Park House, 40 Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham B15 2RT.

Contact for further information

If you would like any further information or have further questions about the research, please ask any member of the research team or contact Karen Newbigging by e-mail on or by phone on 07974929367.

Dr Sean Jennings at the University of Birmingham is an independent point of contact for the study and can be contacted on:


Thank you for reading this and for considering taking part in this study.

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